Immersive first-person parkour in a surreal, physics-driven voxel world. Every move can modify the environment. Surfaces pop in and out of existence at will.

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First update! I'll try and do these regularly in the future. In this update: performance optimizations, a new fog effect, and a new tutorial map featuring shiny water!

Posted by et1337 on Jan 14th, 2012

This week was a lot of under the hood improvements. The voxel engine got a TON of performance optimizations, which allow my Nvidia GTX 260 to render my test scene at 100-200 FPS.


New features:

  • Rough-draft tutorial level with instructions and whatnot.
  • Fullscreen toggling on-the-fly by hitting F11
  • Rudimentary fog effect

Performance optimizations:

  • Voxels are now rendered as surfaces, rather than complete cubes. This lets me cull a lot of unnecessary geometry.
  • Voxels are now split into chunks. This lets me easily implement frustum culling and view distance, which helps tremendously with shadow map rendering as well.
  • I fixed some bugs in the voxel modification code, making voxel modifications of up to 100-150 cells practically instantaneous.
  • Shadow maps and reflections are now rendered every other frame. It's a hack, but the important thing is that the gameplay is responsive.

My biggest development challenge was my battle with fullscreen toggling and graphics resource management. Switching from fullscreen to windowed mode, the entire XNA GraphicsDevice is invalidated, along with every vertex buffer, texture, shader, everything. So that was interesting.

Just a quick update this time. Expect a playable alpha soon! Very soon!

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